ESY kids with carrots

Examples of service learning

Service learning can be incorporated into any class in any discipline at any level.  However, smart choices must be made in order to tailor service learning activities to the desired learning objectives in the class.   Service objectives should also be clearly identified.

Students in a biology class plant trees and grasses in wetland areas with a conservation group. Learning objectives: knowledge of ecosystems, biodiversity, coastal erosion, plant life cycles, environmental degradation
Service objectives: mitigation of wetland loss, habitat preservation, storm protection
Students in an accounting class develop a presentation on business credit and deliver the presentation at a client gathering at a local small business incubator. Learning objectives: knowledge of nonprofit careers for business/accounting majors, accounting processes involved in starting and sustaining small businesses
Service objectives: economic development, job creation
Students in a sociology class tutor children and adolescents in local schools and afterschool programs. Learning objectives: knowledge of how race and class affect child/adolescent development, socialization, human behavior and social institutions
Service objectives: increased academic achievement, higher school performance
Students in an introductory chemistry seminar prepare exciting, age-appropriate, hands-on chemistry demonstrations for students in a local public school.

Learning objectives: improving students' science communication skills to general audiences, preparation for future conference presentations

Service objectives: stimulating interest in STEM fields, building scientific imagination and creativity among school-aged children
Students in a composition class serve food and socialize with guests at a local homeless shelter. They use their experience to compose a well-argued essay on the causes of homelessness and possible solutions. Learning objectives: analysis and observation of the causes and effects of homelessness, improving listening and critical inquiry skills
Service objectives: care for homeless individuals, support for shelters, developing effective advocates for solutions to homelessness
Students in a marketing class devise strategies to help a national affordable housing organization incorporate its local community-building efforts into its larger brand identity. Learning objectives: knowledge of branding strategies, effective use of social and traditional media
Service objectives: increased awareness of neighborhood affordable housing and community-building resources

Students in an acting class volunteer in a variety of community-based settings, closely observing accent, vocal posture, and gesture among the people they serve.

Learning goals: strengthening voice & movement techniques, developing believable and authentic characters.
Service goals: building relationships, listening and communication skills, and solidarity between students and community members
Students in a public relations class create a campaign for a local organ and tissue procurement organization. Learning objectives: Practicing writing, presentation and research skills, applying public relations theories and concepts.
Service objectives: Increasing registered organ and tissue donors among college-aged youth; building awareness and support among young people for organ and tissue donation


For more examples, check out descriptions of service learning courses which have been taught at Loyola.  Select any avaialble semester from the dropdown menu.

Additional Resources